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January 2011

Bulletin For members of the Texel Sheep Society Chief Executive Update

Contents

Dear Member,

l Bio-Security is vital

There has never been a better time to “share the passion and experience the benefits of Texels.”

l Web Promotions hit

It’s great to be part of the dynamic effect the breed has on the industry. It’s genuine and it’s encouraging; there is clear evidence that the Texel is a major driver in improving the efficiencies the industry had been missing. Growth rates with increased lean meat yield per carcase are clear requirements for producers, which Texels undoubtedly provide.

SHEEP SOCIETY

QUALITY PERFORMANCE SERVICE SUCCESS

record levels l Christmas Cracker Record Breaker l Calling all Young Shepherds l CT Scanning receives

The breed enjoyed resounding success in 2010, measured by its performance at the early National Sales, which witnessed high clearance rates of Gimmers at 80% and rams at 75% - well above the average for these premium early sales. Commercial ram sales followed suit with demand for registered Texels resulting in 28% and 30% of total all breeds ring sales at both the NSA Builth Main Sale and Kelso Ram Sales, with clearance rates of 93% and 90% respectively and averages up by £50 and £80 per shearling ram. Both sales are crucial to industry now heavily reliant on the breed.

financial support

Driving home the demand for Texels was the success of the In-Lamb sales, at the end of 2010, with a breed record for the Knock flock at 24,000gns and the top 20 flocks at the invitational sales averaging in excess of £900 per Gimmer. Added to this is the great confidence the membership has in the breed: female registrations are up, parallel to the national flock as reported recently in the press.

research

Society promotions continue to increase as the breed gains further popularity, both in the UK and overseas, with export enquiries also on the increase. The Society promotional campaign in 2011 sees the release of the breed’s first promotional film, launched on our ever popular website. With plenty more planned for the 2011 promotions, we look forward to meeting many of you around the shows and sales.

l Club promotional grants reviewed l Society increases breed promotion across EU l Texels pioneer genomic l Female sales prove popular l AGM praised by Members l “New” Science into Practice section l “New” Texel Merchandise on offer

Breed Development is a crucial part of the Societies objectives, with many projects being developed with researchers. As influential initiatives such as the Texel Muscling QTL project draw to a positive conclusion for the breed this clearly shows the benefits for industry. More about this large DEFRA funded project later this year. With so much positive research information available on Texels we have now included a regular “Science Into Practice” section in the Bulletin, starting with this edition. This will hopefully bring awareness of the technologies and research projects to our membership. Projects that heavily influence the development of our breed in line with future market requirements. Texels have a crucial role in improving the efficiency of the UK sheep industry, a role and responsibility that the Society takes very seriously. John Yates Chief Executive

Clubs promotional grant 2011. Provided annually to assist Clubs with regional promotion of the breed, the Society has made changes for the 2011 grant. Clubs will receive a minimum payment of £200 in April 2011, equal to previous years grant. With those Clubs contributing through the Sales levy scheme receiving further top up grant based on their proportional contribution through the levy. All sales levy received in 2010 from the Societies 19 Clubs will be redistributed, amounting to regional promotional grants of about £10,000.

While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of the information contained in this publication, no responsibility can be accepted by the Society for any errors or any reliance on the use of information by readers

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


SOCIETY MATTERS Texel web promotions hit record levels! Our website has become an important part of Society communications to members and the wider industry, with many members making use of the site. Staggeringly the Texel site was visited from 108 countries, from across 6 continents, with 540,000 pages visited by 109,000 unique visitors, creating a marvellous 27% increase of visits compared to the previous year. The large and informative site caters mainly for UK breeders, although interest from far afield increases.

Biosecurity is Vital In 2010 the MV Scheme witnessed a higher level of breakdowns in accredited flocks than normal. As the risk of contracting infection is 2.5 times higher in accredited flocks where nonaccredited sheep are on the same holding, it is vital that complacency does not set in and that the BIOSECURITY rules of the MV accreditation scheme are strictly adhered to. REMEMBER – MV virus is spread through close nose to nose contact via aerosol droplets from the respiratory tract so contact with non-accredited sheep in your own flock, with neighbours’ sheep, at shows and at sales must be avoided. Think about the ‘Risk Factors’ • Inadequate fences and gates – there must be a 2 m gap between accredited and non-accredited stock. This could be internal and external fences. Single gates are not acceptable – the 2 m gap also pertains to the gates. • Blood contaminated equipment – ideally have separate taggers, needles, drenching equipment, if you have accredited and non- accredited stock. • Grazing – minimum 7 day gap after grazing with non-accredited sheep. • Handling and transport – clean and disinfect thoroughly. • Semen and embryos – only source from other MV accredited stock. Make sure it is accredited. • Colostrum – only from accredited stock but could use cow colostrum. • Added sheep – must come from another MV accredited flock or be isolated and pass two tests 6 – 12 months apart. PSGHS have a farm inspection process and flocks have had status suspended if failings in biosecurity occur. DO NOT let it happen to you. Protect your valuable asset – your MV accredited sheep.

£3500 Funding made available by Society to Fully Recorded Members using the Mobile CT Scanning Unit. CT Scanning: A key accelerator for the breeds’ development. First trialled back in the early nineties using Texel sheep, CT Scanning of lambs has continued to offer major benefits for many breeds development. The accuracy of Estimated Breeding Values for growth and carcass traits are greatly enhanced through the incorporation of CT data into the evaluation of your flock. Indexes and EBVs will be increased if CT measures prove an individual or family to be genetically superior. The Society Board has committed £3500 of Society funds to support Members use of the Mobile CT Scanner in 2011. In 2010 the scanner was based at both Nottingham and Aberystwyth. Further information will be available on the Society website regarding costs, dates of availability and additional sites for 2011. Society funding will be available up to £35 per lamb, with breeders required to supply a minimum of 5 lambs, with total funding capped across all members at £3500, funding available for full recorders who also utilize the back fat scanning service. Additional funding is expected from the levy boards to further assist breeders taking up this valuable tool for developing their flock. The Society strongly encourages full recorders to use CT Scanning. Further information on the Texel website at: www.texel.co.uk/thebreed/ctscanning.php

SHEEP SOCIETY

www.texel.co.uk


24,000gn Christmas Cracker Record Breaker HAK091093 Carlisle - Friday 10th December 2010, Albert & George Howie’s KNOCK flock led the way at the 2010 Christmas Crackers sale with the previous 20,000gn record being surpassed. The February 2009-born daughter HAK091093 of Tophill Nockout (HPH07805) out of a daughter by Anglezarke Krug (SSQ04424) sold to Trinidad Investments, COLWOOD & HIGH WEALD flocks.

World Championships

for Young Shepherds to be held in NZ

NSA is one of a number of organisations from around the globe involved in discussions about the possibility of holding a world championship for young shepherds in NZ. The plan would be to hold the event following on from the rugby world cup towards the end of 2011. This idea follows on from the now well established UK NSA Young Shepherd competitions organised by NSA at its regional and national sheep events. NSA is also heavily involved in the European Championships which has been held at the Paris Show and which will hopefully come over to the UK in 2012 having been held in Ireland in 2011. All you young shepherds out there – what are you waiting for? Opportunities like these don’t come along all the time so get involved and show everyone what a bright future the sheep industry has!! Contact the NSA office

tel: 01684 892 661 if you are interested in competing.

Conference announcement The Gimmer, in lamb to Cambwell Rob Roy - LTC1000028, is a full sister to the 8,000gn, Knock Power Packer - HAK091057, whose sons have sold to 50,000gns at Lanark and 15,000gns at Carlisle. She is a maternal sister to Knock Oregano - HAK08960 20,000gns, Knock Orion - HAK08955 11,000gns, Knock Ronick - HAK1000053 7,000gns, Knock Nugget - HAK07746 6,000gns and Knock Reebok HAK1000041, as well as a 12,000gn gimmer sold last year

The Sheep Breeders Round Table - the biennial event for the sheep industry - will be held at Eastwood Hall, Nottinghamshire, NG16 3SS on the 4th - 6th of November 2011.  This event has been running for many years and provides breeders with a great opportunity to discuss technological developments and future needs for the breeding sector in a pleasant informal environment. With topical discussions focusing on improving the efficiency and productivity of breeders and producers enterprises. To register an interest in attending please email heather.stewart@eblex.org.uk or ring 0870 241 8829.

Obituaries of two valued members Mr Colin Creer passed away after a long illness on the 1st of January. Colin founded the Ballaglonney flock in the Isle of Man. Texel sheep were a big part of his life and gave him a lot of pleasure and through which he made many friends. Sadly he had not been well for the last 4 years but always interested to hear how the breed was progressing and often spoke of the people he had met and the enjoyment the breed gave him. The flock has been managed more recently by son Danny and wife Paula. Mrs Margaret Lyon, well known owner of the Milnbank flock, Aberdeenshire, died early December 2010, after a long illness. Always keen to invest in the top quality females with her most successful purchases sourced from the Annan, Cambwell, Ettrick and Glenside flocks. All of whom have descendants in the current flock, which was purchased privately by her flock manager Robbie Wilson, earlier in 2010. Margaret had a wide circle of friends within the breed and enjoyed the Texel social occasions both in the UK and trips abroad. Our deepest sympathy has been passed to both members families.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


SOCIETY MATTERS Society promotes breed at European livestock events with buoyant International demand for British Texels November witnessed the Society’s promotional activities shift to mainland Europe for the biennial exhibition in Hanover called EuroTier (short for European Livestock). EuroTier is the world’s leading exhibition for animal husbandry at the Exhibition grounds in Hanover, Germany and attracts visitors from across the globe. Over a period of four days, from 13th – 19th November some 140,000 visitors visited the ten gigantic halls. Two strong Texel Shearling rams were the highlight of the British Genetics promotion, excellent examples of the breed for the German market and led to many enquiries, not only from Germany but from other countries as far apart as Peru and Russia. Mike Adams the British Genetics promotion coordinator for BLG stated “the demand for Texel was strong, we could have sold a flock Texels off the stand if we had brought them.” The two Texels at the exhibition had been pre sold and were heading their way to Switzerland. The Society will continue its EU promotion at the SIA Paris Show (19th-27th February) in conjunction with AHDB- France, with two Yearling exhibits on display. Further afield there has been recent developments in Brazil, South America, with a large export in excess of 2000 straws of Texel semen due to be shipped this Spring.

Genomic age moves one step closer for British Texel as £80,000 of external funding is secured for pioneering breed development research project Although New Zealand breeder’s enquiries for British Texel increase in number, the lack of germplasm health certification still prevents exports from the UK to NZ of semen, embryos and also live animals. Aims of providing better linkages between the two Texel populations at each end of the world emerges with a recent agreement between the Society and leading research organisations in New Zealand and Scotland. The recent agreement between Ovita, Agresearch NZ, Texel Society and SAC, will provide a major initiative, pioneering a collaborative research project involving the inclusion of British Texel DNA along with the breeds phenotypic data’s inclusion within a large scale SNP Chip analysis, that will also combine many breeds in NZ. The aims of which will provide British Texel with valuable commercial genotypes assisting the Society and UK researchers with a better understanding of British Texel DNA and the first steps in creating the breeds’ genomic profile. John Yates the Society Chief Executive explained that

this project is a win:win for all parties involved and assists the Society with its breeds development, making use of the largest breed database in the UK, containing tens of thousands of records on Texel production traits and relationships. The continued enhancement of the BASCO database is the critical link in providing this valuable resource for us along with the welcomed support from the researchers and their funders.

The project fully supported by New Zealand funding, will require a selection of British Texel Members providing ear tissue samples from 400 identified sires, via SAC who are part of the collaborative project. Agresearch NZ will provide full genotypes as part of the project, representing about £80,000 of funding for the breeds future development.

This is early days but i feel its an essential move to John added creating an instant SNP Key for gene markers developed in NZ and used in the British Texel population here in the UK. This will ultimately save thousands of pounds for UK producers and a reduction in the time and cost of lengthy validation of new commercial markers for UK purpose. Involving our breed now is definitely a better way to develop markers fit for purpose in the UK population in the future.

The sires will be identified following a thorough analysis of the Texel BASCO data by SAC and the Society, with a selection of members contacted early in 2011 for their involvement.

Texel Show Classes move to new day at RUAS Balmoral Show. The Texel Show Classes will begin at 9am on Wednesday 11th May at Kings Hall Belfast, where all exhibitors will avidly await the deliberations and decision of the Judge of the day Mr John Forsyth of the Glenside flock. The RUAS show runs from 11th - 13th May.

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www.texel.co.uk


New Clothing available from the Society The New merchandise is now available to members with a full list available on the the Society website. Popular items are the new style Body Warmers a bargain at £20 plus VAT along with the Beanies at £5.00 a sure bet for keeping you warm without burning a hole in your pocket! Contact the Society Office for further information or order on line at www.texel.co.uk

Breeders desire rockets in Lamb Gimmer sales to new highs amidst arctic conditions At 8 invitational sales that took place in December and featured in a report to be published in the 2011 Society Journal, 71 flocks involved sold a total of 553 Gimmers to average a phenomenal £993. Although 56 fewer gimmers were sold in comparison to 2009 sale. The overall average was almost maintained in spite of the prevailing Arctic conditions, there was a good turnout of buyers at most of the sales, with both vendors and purchasers deserving immense credit with some travelling over 200 miles in very treacherous conditions.

Society Registration and Notification fees 2011/12 The Society announced another freeze on the fees charged for the notification and registration service for 2011/12. The only amendment made was to increase the LATE BIRTH NOTIFICATION rate (BNs received from 16th June onwards in year of birth) from £5.25 to £10 plus VAT. Members are encouraged to use the reduced rates for all lambs notified in the periods 1st Jan -15th April in Year of Birth and the 16th April – 15th June in Year of Birth as significant savings can be made. Method

1st Jan – 15th April in Year of Birth DD Cheque

16th April – 15th June in Year of Birth DD Cheque

16th June in Year of Birth onwards DD Cheque

Online/Tel/Paper

£1.58

£1.73

£1.79

£1.94

£10.00

£10.00

Cost including VAT

£1.90

£2.07

£2.15

£2.33

£12.00

£12.00

Identification of 2011 born Pedigree Texel Lambs Previous publications to Members have outlined why the Society does not want to gold plate government tagging requirements and with this in mind all Members were written to in December 2010. Members are reminded that there are no changes to the Birth Notification forms and BASCO screens, although the identification used for each lamb should be the 5 digit code (Individual ID) used on the Government tag when notifying the new identification of the lamb to the Society. Hand written tags will not be acceptable, the Society requires two forms of identification on each lamb and these are, for avoidance of any doubt, the two Government tags. Members may also want to continue tattooing their lambs at their discretion. The Flock code and year of birth can be printed on the reverse of the government tag, members are advised to liaise with their tag supplier. The above ruling does not apply to Shearlings and older animals, already notified to the Society.

The weekly UK Market Survey and European Market Survey from AHDB/EBLEX are now available to levy payers by email free of charge... The UK Market Survey covers the sheep and cattle sectors and includes UK liveweight and deadweight prices, auction market prices, retail prices, slaughterings and more.... The European Market Survey covering the sheep and cattle sectors and includes European prices, slaughterings, industry analysis and more...... To take out your free subscription(s) please contact Dorian Harris, Red Meat MI AHDB, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2TL Tel: 024 7647 8850 Fax: 024 7669 6031 Email: redmeatmi@ahdbms.org.uk indicating which publication(s) you are interested in receiving. Each publication is also available to non-levy payers at £175+VAT or £210 for non-UK subscribers.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


NATIONAL AGM Friday evening started off with a bang courtesy of a pre dinner drinks reception followed by the drawing of the teams for the following days curling, bowling and laser clay pigeon shooting competitions with the gimmer sale ballot also being drawn whilst we all enjoyed an excellent and tasty buffet meal.

Texel

It was surprising to witness the thirst that some members seemed to have on this first evening considering how wet it was outside!!  However there weren’t too many casualties the next day as they took to the ice and bowling green where great fun was had by the participants, most of whom were experiencing these sports for the first time.

in conjunction with the Scottish Club 25th Anniversary

Gimmer Sale viewing took place from 3pm onwards on the Saturday, followed by a very well attended AGM where our Chief Executive ably answered any questions from the floor, after reflecting on what had been an extremely successful year for the Society both financially and socially on the back of the breeds increasing popularity in the commercial sector.

Sheep Society AGM & Social weekend Drimsynie House Hotel, Lochgoilhead, Argyllshire Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th November 2010

What a great time was had by over 200 members and friends at the AGM and Social Weekend held in conjunction with the Scottish Texel Clubs 25th anniversary at Drimsynie Estate Lochgoilhead where the Campbell Family catered for our every need (although there was a rumour that Gin supplies ran out late on Saturday night, no doubt  aided by the thirsty girls from the Texel office and Brian Ross!!).

The Professionals

SHEEP SOCIETY

Battle of the Sweepers

www.texel.co.uk

A quick spruce up was all that was required before attending the pre sale drinks reception followed by the sale of 11 in lamb gimmers and 2 ewe lambs with a fantastic top price of 13,000gns achieved from the Cowal entry selling to Trinidad Investments. (Colwood & Highweald). Brian Ross then auctioned off 3 items for charity the highlight of which was an Elaine Eunson (Halley Flock) painting of the 2 sheep on the front of this years popular journal which was snapped up by Cyril Millar (Millars) for the sum of £3,000. Many thanks to Elaine and Linsey Clark who also donated a painting as well as Dane Love who donated a crook.   These items along with the proceeds from the sale commission, kindly donated by Lawrie & Symington and the prize money donated by the winners of


the Scottish Jubilee Trophy show circuit competition helped boost the charity fund to around £8000, with a gallon of whisky which was won and re-presented by the Texel office girls still to be auctioned. What a great effort from everyone.  The formal part of the evening concluded with Society and Club presentations. Sylvia Rawlings was presented with an engraved clock (not that her timekeeping was anything but punctual!) after retiring from the Board after 15 years, her attention to detail and creative style will be greatly missed by the Board.

Elaine Eunson Painting - auctioned for £3000 to Cyril Miller

James Innes was the inaugural winner of the Society’s “ 1st Season Sire of the Year Trophy” which he won with his ram Strathbogie Python who produced the goods for the Glenside Flock.   The Scottish Club Jubilee Trophy was won by Alistair Beaton (Crosshill) with further presentations made to Brian Ross to mark his 25 years of service to the club and an engraved crystal glass was presented to all the past Chairmen of the Scottish Club as well as a table lamp to Mary Gibb (Rusha) for the many hours she has spent keeping Brian on his toes! with her excellent Secretarial and administrative support.

James Innes - Sire of the Year Trophy winner with Silvia Rawlings and Gordon Gray

The evening was then rounded off dancing to the sounds of Cafe Royale with the last man standing (just) being the effervesant and ageless Keith Jamieson (Annan)- if it were possible to bottle his spirit it would be priceless !! Sunday morning we woke to a strange sound and sight - no rain and brilliant sunshine! So off we went to the farm for a look at the Cowal flock and stock judging before heading back for lunch and prize giving. Many thanks to the Scottish Club for organising the weekend with special mention to John Tough, Brian Ross and Mary Gibb, it will be long remembered by those present and we eagerly look forward to next years AGM hosted by the N I Club when we will be staying in La Mon Hotel, located 25 minutes south of Belfast. We look forward to welcoming you there.

The Dinner Dance

“The 2011 AGM and Social Weekend is to be held in conjunction with The Northern Ireland Texel Breeders Club 28th-29th October 2011, at the La Mon Hotel & Country Club, Castereagh, Belfast BT235RF. For further information and to reserve your booking contact the Society office.”

The crowd look on

The Chairman shows em how its done!

Stock judging cards get marked

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


What is Computed Tomography (CT)? Computed Tomography (CT) provides a welfare friendly way of assessing the total muscle, fat and bone yield in a live sheep using whole body X-ray image analysis. This near perfect predictor of carcase composition can also be used to measure the muscling in different parts of the carcase, such as the gigot. Texel flocks can make 20% faster genetic progress in improving gigot shape using CT and 6% faster progress in increasing lean meat yield compared to the use of weight recording and ultrasound scanning alone.   CT is a successful tool for identifying outstanding animals within the breed, but it has also had an equally important wider impact on breeding improvement. The use of CT has enhanced our understanding of the relationship between onfarm ultrasonic measurements and lean and fat in the carcase. This has improved the efficiency with which superior animals can be identified using on-farm ultrasound and strengthens the breeding evaluations produced across the breed.

BLUP Deadlines 2011

AFFORDABLE

WOOD BURNING STOVES s 4RADINGONLINE SINCE s 3PECIALISINGIN WOODBURNING3TOVES s -ULTI&UEL3TOVES s &IREPLACE(EARTH PRODUCTS s /NLINEDISCOUNT DISTRIBUTION DELIVEREDANYWHERE INTHE5+

T. 01560 483 966

www.woodburningstoveslimited.com

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www.texel.co.uk

TEXEL 1

Deadline data

Results out

12-May-11

1-Jun-11

TEXEL 2

22-Jul-11

5-Aug-11

TEXEL 3

26-Aug-11

13-Sep-11

TEXEL 4

4-Oct-11

18-Oct-11


Science into Practice Texel Lambing Ease and Birth Weight Estimated Breeding Values “Since 1996 approximately 80,000 lambs have been scored for lambing ease. This data shows that nearly 90% of Pedigree Texel lambs were born with no or only slight assistance needed (lambing ease scores 1 or 2).” Two valuable new EBVs were produced for Texel animals in 2010. The lambing ease and birth weight EBVs allow breeders to select easier care sheep with fewer lambing difficulties. For each individual lamb, lambing ease is recorded on a 1-5 scale where 1=No assistance required, 2=Slight assistance required, 3=Severe assistance required, 4=Non-surgical veterinary assistance, 5=Surgical veterinary assistance. Any elective surgical veterinary assistance is scored as a 6 but is not included in the analysis. Smaller lambs at birth are often born easier due to their size. To avoid selecting for smaller birth weights instead of easier lambing, the lambing ease EBV is adjusted for birth weight. Therefore, a birth weight should also be recorded. To record birth weight individual lambs are weighed in kilograms to the nearest 500g within 48 hours of birth. The ease of lambing is affected by several factors. l Lambs from young ewes were observed to have more difficult lambings. l The birth weight of the lamb was a significant contributing factor in the lamb’s ability to be born easy. l Larger lambs at birth had more lambing difficulties. l Multiple litter sizes tended to have easier births than singles. This on the surface seems contradictory given the known ‘tangling effect’ but is the result of differences in the birth weight; the average birth weight for a single lamb was 5.1kg compared with 4.4kg for a twin. The tangling effect (increased lambing difficulties as the number of lambs born increases due to the tangling of the limbs) is masked by the birth weight differences. However, the tangle effect was evident when individual flocks were examined where the average birth weights between singles and multiple litter sizes were similar; the lambs from multiple litter sizes (and birth weights similar to those of single born lambs) were observed to have more difficult lambings compared with single litter lambs.

% of easy lambing by different groups

The lambing ease EBV is expressed as the % unassisted lambings compared to animals with an EBV of 0 (positive EBVs being favourable). This EBV describes the lamb’s ability to be born. Both the ram and ewe contribute equally to the lamb’s ability to be born. The ewe does have an additional influence on the birth through her ability to give birth but this maternal contribution of the ewe is accounted for in the evaluation model. The average lambing ease EBV of animals recorded as being ‘easy lambing’ were 2% higher compared with animals recorded as being ‘difficult lambings’. There were small associations between lambing ease and the production trait EBVs, with animals that are large and muscular also being the animals with lambing difficulties. However, these correlations are only mild. There is a wide range of lambing ease EBVs distributed across the population with animals with high index values having both favourable and unfavourable lambing ease EBVs.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


Recorded Texel Rams in demand at 2010 Texel National sales

It was interesting to note the proportion of high index rams being entered for sale, with a large number of sheep in the Top 10% of the breed. This is a very positive situation for the breeds’ future, as it provides buyers with the choice to select for both performance and type.

“A number of new flocks have made enquiries about performance recording in recent months, seeing the value that performance records can add to a smart looking animal. For further details contact Signet for information pack Tel: 0247 647 8829.”

“EBV figures alone won’t sell a ram at a pedigree sale and it was gratifying to see an increasing number of rams that excelled in both attributes.”

Rams with good EBVs sold extremely well at the major sales in 2010. Recorded rams consistently achieved higher average prices, rams with superior EBVs achieving significant premiums. The HCC Elite Ram Project certainly helped the trade at the Welsh National, but other factors had an impact on the overall sale of rams, These include the availability of EBVs in catalogues (and on the Texel website) – drawing buyers attention to high performing genetics prior to the sale. Signet provided EBV charts at each of the main sales and their availability, combined with a strong entry in the recorded ram lamb classes helped buyers with their selection decisions. Scottish National (Lanark) Sold

Average (£)

Top 1%

13

5032

Top 5%

39

3438

Top 10%

24

1863

Top 25%

11

1150

Top 50%

5

560

Below 50%

Clearance rates for recorded rams were also 8% and 14% higher at the English and Welsh sales (no equivalent data for Lanark). The availability of EBVs on the BASCO web search enables buyers to check out the genetic merit of an animals’ sire and dam – so even if a flock doesn’t record they still need to consider the EBVs of any future stock rams.

English National (Worcester)

Welsh National

Sold

Average (£)

Sold

Average (£)

37

966

10

848

11

591

10

587

3

833

6

603

2

370

Overall Recorded

95

2760

54

849

22

686

Overall Non-Recorded

268

2173

97

703

68

594

SHEEP SOCIETY

www.texel.co.uk


Science into Practice Conformation and growth Texels do both! An extract from a report produced by Signet on behalf of the Texel Society, clearly shows how the breed is progressing and evolving to meet modern commercial producer needs. The full report that identifies major improvements based on an analyses of the Society BASCO data will be published in the Society 2011 Journal. “Over the last two decades the breed has grown beyond recognition. During any expansion there is always the danger that standards fall as

in the 2010 analysis compared to 1992, the average breeding value for growth to 21 weeks of age is over 5kg higher. This is a massive shift in the genetic potential of a population – in a relatively short period of time. Sheep that would have comfortably sat in the Top 10% of the breed in 1992 are now well below average. In the Texel breed, selection for growth rate has been accompanied by large increases in muscling across the loin through the careful selection of rams using ultrasound scanning. Gains have been impressive, with the average Texel now possessing the breeding potential to produce an extra 1.5kg of lean meat at 21 weeks of age compared to those born in 1990. In summary, changes in the growth potential of Texel sheep have been immense; enhancing both the efficiency and profitability of carcase production from Texel sired lambs. Genetic gain for the breed that through its popularity in the commercial sector fast forwards the industry in meeting critical emissions targets set by Government, whilst improving productivity.

bloodlines are multiplied and in genetic terms the breed stands still. This is clearly not the case with the Texel breed.” Sam Boon, Eblex Breeding Specialist. Data taken from the BASCO Database shows the most recent Texel evaluations that although there are vastly more lambs Distribution of Scan Weight EBVs in British Texel Sheep

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


DIARY DATES

Dates for diary 2011

Royal Show dates & Judges 2011 Royal Ulster / Balmoral Show 11th – 13th May Judge Mr John Forsyth – FPG – Glenside Royal Highland Show 23rd – 26th June Judge Mr Steve Smith – SJP – Penparc Great Yorkshire 12th – 14th July Judge Mr G W Jones – JGE – Erw Royal Welsh Show 18th – 21st June Judge Mr Roger Strawbridge – SRY - Tamnamoney

National Premier sale dates & Judges 2011 Northern Ireland Premier National Show & Sale 18 – 19 August Judge Mr. Alastair Gault – GAF - Forkins Scottish National Premier National Show & Sale 24 – 25 August Judge Mr. Steve Richardson – RSS - Stonebridge Welsh National Premier National Show & Sale 26 – 27 August Judge Mr. David Houghton – HPH -Tophill English National Premier National Show & Sale 29 – 30 August Judge Mr. Craig Ridley – RHT – Haltcliffe

Specialist Sheep Events 2011 NSA Welsh Sheep 18th May (Machynlleth, Powys) NSA North Sheep 8th June (Hexham, Northumberland) NSA South West 14th June (Paigton, Devon) NSA Sheep NI 4th July (Balymena, Livestock Market Northern Ireland) Sheep Breeders Round Table 4 – 6th November (Nottingham)

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Texel Sheep Society January 2011 Bulletin